Tom Stafford

Tom Stafford


Investors Overseas Services, Geneva Switzerland ’64 thru ’71, Work Release ’72, House of Andrew MacDonald(whiskey distributors) Dubai UAE ’73 and ’74, Merrill Lynch Commodities, Atlanta, ’75 thru ’92, Benchmark Financial Services, Atlanta, ’94 to present

Significant Other – Norma Balla mate of 30 years, No children.

Sister – Kathy married to Ted Schneyer, Tucson Arizona, Children: Rachel and Joshua, in their twenties, respectively living in China and Brazil
Sister – Peggy and husband Al(can’t spell his last name) live in Cross Plains, Children: Lisa and Sarah, students in Madison and Oregon.

No Friends. No teeth. Still enjoy getting up in the morning.

You do realize that along with my teeth my memory has dwindled.

I remember doing a speech with Felt and Hoover on persuasion in Miss Rhode’s class. The assignment was a five minute speech to persuade. We chose to persuade people to watch the Three Stooges. It was an individual assignment but she agreed to let us do it together. We had many days to prepare but elected to do our preparation at llunch at the restaurant across University avenue where we planned our talk. We went to Gordy’s Bake Shop next door where we bought three whipped cream pies,then secured a bucket and a mop, and headed to Mrs Rhode’s class(it was the first class after lunch).

The three pies were placed on the desk in front.The first speaker opened by alleging these pies were not only delicious but were guaranteed to cure whatever ailed one..further that when eaten these pies assured excellent grades in school. The class had little idea that the three of us were doing this gig so when one of us took offense at these lies, walked to center stage, picked up a pie and lofted in into the speakers mug…the class was rather in shock…even Mrs Rhode was frozen. Next the third member of the team approached the front, and dusted off the protestor (second pie in the face) claimiing that he had no right to interrrupt the speaker. The third pie missed its intended target and sailed into the classs. I still can see Bitzie Cohen’s glasses hanging on pie that had found its way behind his glasses. I know there were several of the girls dresses that took a load. After that we did a few Stooges antics, Felt was chasing Hoover around the room with a bucket and I was right behind Felt with a mop. Behind me was Mrs Rhode demanding this nonsense stop and lo and behold in walks His Bloody Highness Goldgruber (his office was just down the hall).

I don’t think we ever got to explain that this madness was an attempt to persuade folks to watch the Three Stooges (we were immediately sent to terciary confinement). We probably ought to have eaten a little of our own pie. F was the mark (I venture that it might have been the only she ever allowed). As I comb my addled brain for more…I don’t remember too many specifics episodes that took place while school was in session. I do remember lots outside of school which isn’t very inclusive.

There was a guy from France, probably an exchange student, whose English was pretty bad. He asked me one time about the slang term ‘buck’ for a dollar. I corrected his pronunciation and found it so funny. Some years later I found myself in Turkey being coached by another ‘Wise Guy’ in disguise. The result was that I was an instant attraction…constantly being asked in Turkish ‘How are you”. For days I would say earnestly what I thought to be ‘I am fine Thank You. How are you?’ Only to learn that my celebrity status resulted from my answer…”I am queer Thank You, How are you?” Tit for Tat.Scenes:
Sewing class – We bought our own material to make a shirt. Pink and Black were in vogue. More importantly the sewing machine races. First to get across a notebook paper.
Cooking Class – The teacher would eat with your group. There were four in each group. And more than anything that gorgeous Erica Schwenn. How could she be so beautiful and smart…then date upper classman..the tart.


June 2015

Wisconsin High School

55th Reunion – July 24 – 25, 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE:  The following … um, dialogue … arrived in response to our request for a 2015 update:

S.  So this pigeon was sitting on the balcony the other day.  He was looking a bit ill in spite of being very handsome and manly.  I named him Ralph.  He couldn’t fly at all.  Indeed when I finally reached out for him he fluttered to the ground and scurried into the neighboring jungle with the Bob Cats and Raccoons.  I grabbed my crab trip and flashlight and saved him with aplomb.  The next day he was barely hanging in there.  He was ever so weak and I said a prayer for him and gave him some Gatorade.  I noticed these bands on his legs with numbers (bling).  I googled Pigeon named Ralph and sure enough he had a phone number.  After talking to Pedreo his Mexican owner( I do think he has a side biz…) I learned that he had been in a race several days ago.  He had been dropped off some ways from home and was to go back home as good homing (passenger) pigeons are wont to do.  Apparently he had lost his way and now he lived with me.  I told Pedro I had no room for pigeons with all the Bob Cats, Badgers, Dolphins, Coon et. al. and that he should fix that.  He said give him some more Gatorade….orange this time.  Two days later he lifted off the railing, did two majestic swings around the house and returned to the bloody balcony!!  So I gave him cherry Gatorade with vodka that night.  To be continued…….

D. Your story of the manly and handsome yet sickly pigeon was so fascinating and entertaining.  Well I hope the little guy has recovered from the undoubtedly brutality he suffered as a homing pigeon for a Mexican pimp and I guess vodka and cherry flavored Gatorade (they make that?!) will keep him coming back to your balcony..  My first thought was that Ralph, perhaps, is some sort of archetype representing you???!!  In any case he’s better off under your care.  It quite reminds me of this cute lost ferret I came across on my walk the other day.  She was cold and confused.  I picked her up and named her Daisy and she sat on my shoulder as we walked.  She told me all these awful stories about living with dirty hippie owners who smell and of the horrible music they play.  I made her a little bed in the shed in back with the finest T shirts I could find in a rich movie producers closet (they all represent some fine Northeast Establishment).  She was much obliged so I made her a double gin martini with two olives and we stayed up all night talking.  To be continued…..

S. is Salvadore Dali Llama

D. Is Donatella…..Italian Royalty

This is an excerpt from a lengthy discussion between two Old Folks who have little else to do but live in their imaginations.  You see what happens when you don’t have progeny!!!  I have yet to be committed. Still find it hard to follow directions.  Travel a good bit and do lots of reading, writing, wogging (Walk Jog), painting, hiking, fishing, camping etc…..when I am not drunk.  Norma is obviously stuck!

I doubt that I will be at the reunion….too much going on just now.  My warm regards to my Fellow Alumni!!!

PS  I think Ralph may show up at the reunion.  He has a fine hand woven portmanteau now made of fine Alpaca ear hair.

EDITOR’S SECOND NOTE:  After a second e-mail questioning the wisdom of printing this dialogue, we got the following:

I agree that the excerpt is maybe a bit over the top to be posted on the WHS thing.  I’ll take your lead on this one…..still…why not?!  If not, please post the following;

‘Apart from suffering from a crumbling infra structure and being at a loss on how to change the oil in these new-fangled cars, the sun seems to come up pretty regularly in Our World.  I find it ever so important to NOT take kindly the wisdom of the years and surrender gracefully the things of youth.  This leaves me too young to be embraced by my peers and too old to be embraced by the young folks.  The train left the station some time ago and I have been chasing it ever since.  Hopefully one of my fellow WHS grads will come by one time and show me how to change the oil.  In the meantime I will very much miss not seeing you guys and be thinking of you while backpacking in the Bob Marshall Wilderness area…”.Badger Preps Badger Preps show your fight and show your pep…..etc”… Love to y’all!  Tom.’


Wisconsin High School

60th  Reunion – September 17, 2020

BIO:      Tom Stafford

Received:  8/24/20 & 8/25/20

Received 8/24/20:

My update is not surprising.  Here it is:

Ralph and Daisy FINALLY got it together. They moved to New Zealand where Daisy is heading up an Opossums Lives Matter Movement and Ralph has become the Mascot for the All Black Rugby team.!

 Editor’s Note:  But wait, there’s more.  Seems Tom’s bios come in two parts!

Received 8/25/20:

I/We have been visiting Montana for decades.  It is a beautiful varied State.  Great Plains, mountains, rivers, lakes, etc.  Today here in Great Falls it is very smoky.  This could last until the snows come.  The fires in California and other States West of here do not go unnoticed.  Yes I have seen the Costner Yellowstone film.  Yellowstone is precious.  I might add that about three weeks ago I couldn’t wait to get the hell out of there.  The tourists were bumper to bumper.  Over the years we have backpacked through lots of the Wilderness areas out here, including Yellowstone.  We have just returned from our cabin near the Bob Marshall Wilderness where we are completely off grid.  It is a particularly good time to be away from everything.

The State has a fascinating history.

We are on the East Coast of Florida during lots of the winter.  We live in New Smyrna Beach on the Beachside…essentially a large island …. with immediate access to Mosquito Lagoon on one side and the Atlantic on the other.  It has been fairly unknown until the last several years…lots of folks moving there now.

Irrespective of where one lives, as you know, it is up to oneself to enjoy life the best one can.  In this case wogging, fishing, hiking, golfing, reading, skiing, kayaking, biking, painting, partying (when able), provide lots of quality time.